2006-06-29 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets...

Tips from the Post's Beauty Queen
by Joanne Anderson

Note: The opinions expressed this week may (or may not) be those of your friendly pet columnist. My Afghan hound (aka "The Post Beauty Queen") thinks she is the authority on canine couture and grooming. I'm pacifying her with this advice column because I've put her modeling career on hold. An agent wants to meet her in NYC. However, I've been reluctant to go, ever since the Beauty Queen sped off last fall through traffic at a Little Shelter event while I was dressing her in this Spider Woman outfit. Thankfully, my husband has run marathons for 30 years. Allowing her to answer a few questions seems safer than a trip to Manhattan. Here goes:

Question #1: My Cocker spaniel's long ears get soaked in her dish whenever she eats or drinks. What should I do?

Mrs. Lady & the Tramp

The Beauty Queen: How gross! For heaven's sake, get her a snood like the one I'm wearing. Too bad this paper is black & white. You can't see how smashing I look in red sequins. Red is my color. You can buy snoods at dog shows or online. Yes, that's me wearing the gold one on the "library link" at thesnoodfactory.com. My sequin snoods came from EBay. If you sew, snoods are a cinch. If not, you can loosely tie your dog's ears up with pony tail scrunchies.

Alex, Alex, Also many pet supply companies sell narrow, deep dishes for longeared dogs like Bassets. Another trick is to elevate the dish up off the floor. Your pooch's ears will stay cleaner, and some say this position helps digestion. If all else fails, you could hire someone to hold your Cocker's ears up while she's dining.

Question #2: I was petting Lassie after she pulled me out of the well and I felt hard clumps of hair under her coat. What are they?

From, Soggy Timmy

The Beauty Queen: Timmy, those are mats! You should spend less time getting into trouble and more time brushing your Collie. Mats, unlike cellulite, appear overnight. Anyone who wants a longhaired breed must make a commitment of time and money for the pet's coat. If you buy a Poodle puppy, factor in the price of a monthly clipping for 15 years. Lassie is smart, but she cannot brush herself. Even if you take your pet to a groomer, you need to maintain the coat between baths. Mats are not just unsightlythey are uncomfortable and unhealthy too.

Sam, Sam, Grooming is an art, so I can only touch on a few points here. If you have a longhaired pup or kitten, get them used to the brush, grooming table, dryer, and clippers early, before the hair is all grown in. I am a rescued Afghan who spends about _ hour a day on the table. I'm sick of hearing how my predecessors were more patient and didn't require an arm or noose. They were conditioned as Afghan pups. I wasn't.

Use the proper brush for your breed. A pin brush works well on me; a slicker is perfect for a Shepherd. If your pet does have mats, remove them before bathing. Experienced owners can do this painlessly with finger tips. A bath only makes the mats worse. Be careful with scissors; if you must cut, point out; not across or in. Mats adhere to the skinsometimes it is difficult to see where the hair ends and the tender skin begins. Be careful. Question #3: Should I buy the cute

Peek-a-poo I saw in the pet shop?

Yours truly, Puggle Wuggle

The Beauty Queen: Despite what the store tells you, trendy designer dogs are NOT purebreds. I approve of one Doodlea Cheese Doodle. People are paying up to $1,000 for these "invented" puppies. They hope for the best of both breeds but there is no consistency to how they will look or act when they grow up. They are mixed breeds; not that there is anything wrong with that! Each random bred dog is one of a kind. Adopt your unique blend from a shelter or rescue group. You'll be saving a life too.

One more caveat: never purchase a pedigree dog or cat from a pet store either. By doing so, you are perpetuating the cruel puppy mill industry. (See aspca.org.) Your pup's parents will probably spend their lives in horrific conditions. "AKC" papers do not guarantee quality. If you want a recognized purebred, research the breed. Locate a reputable breeder with a litter with sound, traceable bloodlines, free of genetic flaws; or, better yetadopt from a purebred rescue group. Question #4: Do people really look like their dogs? Just wondering,

Snoopy

T h e Beauty Queen: Bite your tongue! Heaven forbid. I don't look anything like Joanne. I'm a marvelous combo of actress Yvonne DeCarlo and rock star Gene Simmons from Kiss. My eye makeup is always perfect. They had to stop filming a "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" show because Joanne's lipstick was crooked..... Now Bulldogs and their ownersthat's another story.

Send your grooming/fashion questions to "The Beauty Queen" at the POST or email her at: acjnews@rcn.com, and she might stop looking at herself in the mirror just long enough to answer them.

The adoptable pets at the Oyster Bay Animal Shelter (677-5784) Miller Pl. Syosset are kicking off summer. Check out "Alex"a 6 year old purebred Boxer (#060555) sporting his fancy shades. "Alex" is a big-boned, cooperative male who was left behind when his owners moved. Patriotic "Sam" (#060532), a 6 week old gray, male kitten, is ready to celebrate the Fourth in style. The shelter is open from 8 AM to 4 PM Mon to Sat.. See more photos on the Oyster Bay Petfinder website.

Dogs: "Tinkerbelle" (#060581) a 1 year Neapolitan Mastiff, a huge, friendly but clumsy pup needs training and surgery for a cherry eye; "Mackenzie" (#060533) - a young Retriever/Shepherd; "Buddy" (#060480) an energetic Siberian husky.

Cats: "Alphina" and "April"2 young, domestic longhairs rescued from an elderly collector's home. Pets of the Week

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